Dumb Luck; Need Advice


Hi -

Finally decided to purchase a new car and donate the '94 Mazda due to some problems that could never quite be fixed properly…

Chose a 2008 Fit Sport [manual] by Honda and waited several weeks for a dealer close to me to get one in stock.

Spent 4 hours there Fri. night - many Murphy’s Law problems w/ other customers & their new computer system…drove it home happy, however.

Three hours later, while online changing my car insurance policy, heard a loud BOOM!

Someone plowed into the Fit - moved it 4 car lengths and into another car, which sustained some scratching.

The driver’s insurance will cover the repair, and I’m taking it for an est. on Tues. My question is this: it sounds as if they’re only going to do body work but I want to make sure the exhaust [took the brunt of the hit] and other mechanicals are going to function - can I request further repairs - like have the dealership check it out?

Also - the impact caused some frame denting - are there any special concerns I need to be sure are checked-out/done right?

Bewildered in Chicago,


P.S. - This is the second time in two months that someone’s hit a car parked in front of my house - and yes, I have no garage!


Things like the exhaust are referred to as “hidden damage”. They often go undiscovered on the adjuster’s first look, or are written up as “needs further study”, meaning that the body shop reserves the right to add those hidden damage costs during the repair process. Is the bid coming from the insured’s company adjuster, or from the body shop of your choice?

If the “frame”, which really doesn’t exist on a unibody car, is crumpled, can it be fixed to your satisfaction after such a hard hit? I would go to no other body shop than the dealer where you bought the car. I don’t know about IL law, but where I live the injured party has the right to choose what shop fixes their car. You DO NOT have to accept the low bidder. If they offer to “total” it out, accept no less than what you paid for it a few hours earlier, including the taxes and all those other things new car dealers add on that cost them little, and you plenty.

Remember that they also owe you a rental car while your car can’t be driven. That starts RIGHT NOW as I assume there are broken tail lights which are a safety item.


Also remember that you may be due something for loss of value. Have you contacted your own insurance company? They may have some good advice for you and you might want to contact your attorney. That will cost you a small fee, but they will be able to tell you what your rights are in your local area.


I would have some real concerns over the car being hit this hard.
It should be specified, in WRITING, that they’re going to cover any unseen or unknown damage chassis damage and JMHO but I think they should give you a bit extra for loss of value since this is an '08 model. If you repair it, turn right around and sell it, YOU are going to take a financial hit due to previous damage.

Here is another unknown. Does this vehicle have an automatic transmission? If so, it was sitting there in PARK and this means there is a possibility that transmission or axle damage could exist.
What about tires? If this vehicle was in PARK and was scooted 4 lengths there’s a possibility some of the tires could have flat spots on them.

See where this goes? Into a lot of areas and everything should be left open on the repair. And none of that “verbal promise” BS either.


Hi -
Thanks for the responses so far.

Just found out today that it isn’t driveable - exhaust hanging and parts of the body ‘decor’ hanging & rubbing, too. Their ins. co. is going to send a ‘field examiner’ tomorrow or Tues. and the rental starts tomorrow. I mentioned that it was in need of more than just body work, and they assured me that I could choose any place to get the repairs done. Will make sure I’m here when it’s examined, I guess and try to get the dealer who sold it to me to do the repairs - or recc. another.

Do you really think I should turn-around and sell it? I doubt that I could get the 17,000 that I’ll be paying for the next four years…



My only points are that most body shops have guys who are good with the paint/bodywork but may not know too much about the mechanicals involved.
Needless to say, they may not know, or even care, if you have any mechanical problems.

You might bring the transmission and tire part of this up to the insurance adjuster and see how he reacts.
If he instantly brushes it off with the “Oh, I don’t think there will be any problem with that”, then tell him to put it writing. If he’s so confident then he should not have a problem with this.

I can’t tell you whether to sell it or not since they are too many unknowns about the damage.


Man, that really sucks! Sorry to hear about that. Some insurance companies have a policy that would call for a new replacement if it is totalled. Push for that.

With your neighborhood’s history, I would consider either building a garage or a driveway. Do you have a back yard where you can remove a section of the fence and build a driveway? What about parking it on your lawn?

I feel for you.


Hi -
Yes, I talked with the ins. co. again and mentioned that denting near the roof indicates frame damage, re-iterated that the thing was only a few hours ‘old’ and that a total loss would be best - for me just to get it replaced. Still waiting to hear from the Adjuster, though…

I wrote an e-mail to our Alderman about the need for a speed bump - preferably in front of my house - as a neighbor across the street was hit once, too. Many of the streets in this neighborhood have them, so…we’ll see.

I’ve also been considering what you’d mentioned - removing part of the fence & getting a carport or slab put there, instead. I’ll miss the yard space & will have to consider the costs, as things are a bit tight right now. Then again, the cost of having that car hit again is a factor to consider, as well!

Wish me luck :wink: